If an organization is dependent on their sales force to bring in revenue, they need to ensure that the team is comprised of individuals with the potential to be trained to get the job done. Sadly, too many potential leads die within moments due to ill-equipped sales teams who tend to say the wrong thing due to bad or no proper training. Sales training needs to cover adding value and building rapport with a lead in an attempt to bring it closer to the point of sale.
Here's a few tips to help your sales team bring the lead closer to the sale, in the right way:
1. Do not Assume a Lead is a Sale
Most prospects are not ready to move fast – a phone call for instance is a basic inquiry so it's not OK to assume they are calling to make a purchase. Make it a point instead to resolve the questions that they are calling into resolve – this helps build rapport and does not make you come across as making a sales pitch.
2. Do not Start by asking them to buy
If a prospect hears you start your conversation by asking them to buy – chances are they will not! They are calling to have a conversation with you and not a sales pitch. This could turn the lead cold, very fast. Help them solve the problems or answer the questions that they are calling to solve in the first place before you move into the sale. If you have first clarified all their issues, chances are that they will probably be ready for the purchase at the end.
3. Read Between the Lines
When a prospect comes to you with an inquiry, learn to understand what they are really trying to say to you and you will be able to avoid offending them and losing the potential sale. They could be telling you that they are unsatisfied with a competitor product without saying it directly – this is an opening to talk about your brand benefits instead of asking them to actually buy.
4. Do not Open with a Closing Statement
Always avoid trying to make a quick sale and instead take your time about getting there. Most sales reps try to begin their sales pitch with a closing line and this is a big no-no to the process. You will only end up alienating your potential buyer. Do not think of the first call as a sales opportunity and only as one to start a dialogue for further conversations that could lead to sale.
Take close care with how you and your sales team follow up on good marketing leads so the trail does not go cold in the first five minutes – learn how to build a long term relationship with prospects irrespective of the potential sale. At the end of the day, if you do your job right, the sale is bound to happen automatically, in time.